Make Easy Chicken Noodle Soup Using These 7 Hacks

Soup’s on and it’s so easy.

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Photo:

Jennifer Causey

Chicken noodle soup is one of the great joys of life, and luckily, it doesn’t have to be difficult to make. Forget simmering a pot of chicken all day, and use these chef-approved hacks for a super flavorful and satisfying bowl of homemade soup that you can whip up faster than you can open a can. Well, almost. Here’s how to make easy chicken noodle soup, whenever the craving hits, with mostly pantry ingredients and simple-to-source supermarket staples

Start With a Rotisserie Chicken

If you want a from-scratch flavor for your chicken noodle soup, start with a fully-cooked rotisserie chicken. Diana Manalang, chef and owner of Little Chef, Little Café in New York City says any rotisserie chicken will work, but the $5 Costco ones are worthwhile. To make soup, pull off the meat and then throw the chicken bones in an instant pot with vegetable scraps to make some delicious chicken stock in just an hour, Manalang recommends. Then, just strain, add noodles and your preferred veggies, and you’re good to go. Shredded chicken can be mixed back in for extra protein

Use a Quality Bouillon Base 

For chicken noodle soup in just a few minutes, start with bouillon. “If you don't have an instant pot [or] don't want to simmer broth for hours, buying a Better Than Bouillon base is a great idea,” says Manalang. “Their stock bases are super quick to use—just add to water to make a broth. They are also good for adding intense flavor to sauces and gravies.”  A scoop of this creamy bouillon with hot water is one of the easiest hacks for chicken noodle soup. 

Go With Pre-Cut Mirepoix 

Fresh veggies level up any chicken noodle soup. No time to chop? You can buy pre-diced celery, onions, and carrots (aka mirepoix, the base of many recipes) at most supermarkets. “If you're short on time, store-prepared mirepoix comes in handy,” Manalang says. “This base of aromatic vegetables are diced and cooked for flavor.” Cook them in a bit of butter or olive oil at the bottom of your soup pot with a pinch of salt before adding broth, and let them simmer. 

Add Jarred Sofrito 

Mixing in sofrito instead of, or in addition to, vegetables can up the flavor of your chicken noodle soup, Manalang suggests. This Spanish sauce melds tomatoes, green peppers, onions, garlic, and cilantro with olive oil for a dynamic addition to any soup. Manalang says it’s a nice way to boost soup that also takes a shortcut using frozen or canned veggies

Open a Box of Broth

A good box of broth is basically chicken soup, just add noodles. "I prefer boxed organic chicken broth, like Brad’s Organic,” says Glenn Rolnick, director of culinary operations and executive chef of Alicart. If you start with a box of broth, consider adding a bay leaf and dill for vibrance, and some pulled or diced cooked chicken (this could be rotisserie or leftover chicken breast). Add fresh pasta or broken up angel hair which cooks in minutes, and your soup is ready to go. Diced celery sticks or baby carrots can also be a quick addition to boxed broth.

Downsize Your Noodle Soup 

Soup doesn’t necessarily need to come out of a pot. Make an individual bowl or mug of noodle soup by microwaving boxed broth or bouillon with thin pasta or fresh cut noodles for three minutes, add any veggies or seasonings you want, and your soup is ready!

Batch-Cook Chicken Soup

Save time for your future self by making a large batch of homemade classic chicken soup. It takes about an hour to cook, and once it’s cooled, you can freeze it in large cubes, food storage containers, or even plastic bags to quickly defrost in the microwave and add noodles to at your leisure. Freeze the soup with noodles in it for an even more expedited “cooking” process once you’re ready to chow down.

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